Are there parallels between Northern Guilford fund-raising and the efforts of NWG coach while in Florida?

Posted by Andy Durham on June 5, 2009 at 10:17 am under High School | 21 Comments to Read

Will you see any similarities in the Northern Guilford basketball fund-raising and the efforts by the current Northwest Guilford basketball coach Manny Bloom while he was raising money down in Florida at Boca Raton High School?

Coach Bloom and Coach K both wanted to be the best, they might have been reckless with record keeping, but these young coaches wanted to win and what both did was they felt to be for the kids.

The kids respected both Bloom and Coach K. Both are solid coaches who want to be the best and they wanted their teams to look professional. How are you gonna get rich selling Pappa John’s Pizza by slice outside the school cafeteria? We all know you aren’t going to get rich coaching high school basketball! You do it for the love of the game and you want to pass that competitive nature on to some kid who you think might have a chance to make it somewhere some day.

Both Coach K and Coach Bloom might really guilty of one thing and haven’t we all fallen into this arena? Wanting to get the job done and doing it quickly. We just can’t wait, we want instant results. Got to have it now, cause the sweet taste of success feels so good and it is soooooo sweet.

Both Coach K and Manny Bloom knew how to raise money and win and the fans of the other teams don’t like that one bit. I don’t even know Coach Bloom, but I like him because he is a hustler. You have to be to make in this business and in the cruel world of today. I remember as a kid selling all of those doughnuts so we could get those jackets and the calendars and the World’s Finest Chocolate Bars and all the other items we had to push. Sell to survive and get results……..

Coach Bloom is a hustler, but not a pool hustler, he’s a hard worker on a fast track seeking success. Coach K is the same. He works hard and wants to reach his goals. Was he reckless? Was Coach Bloom reckless? You make the call, but haven’t we all been guilty of recklessness at one time or another????? It all depends on where you are standing and what time of day it is.

Here’s what a few of Coach Bloom’s kids were saying about their coach down in Florida at Boca Raton High:

I was a player for Coach Bloom from 2004-2007 and worked at every single camp, so I would like to provide a different perspective regarding this subject.

As numerous people stated above Bloom built a program at Boca High. A true program is year round, builds team commaderie through constant interaction and strengthes life and basketball skills. Coach Bloom did this on a level that was highly regarded in the South Florida basketball community as well as nationally recognized by the prestigious 5 star basketball camp.

During the summer when the majority of the fund raising took place, Bloom was able to teach us players everyday. We had a strict schedule waking up at 6:30 am for workouts and then working all day TO PAY FOR THOSE SUPPOSED FREE SHOES AND UNIFORMS WE RECEIVED. Coach Bloom did not believe in bake sales and car washes (what do you learn from those?). Why not fill a void in the community (which we did with a spring basketball league and summer camps)and have everyone benefit.

Working those camps and being responsible for kids like Mr. Woody’s, taught me real responsibility and life skills that serve me very well here at the University of Florida.

Furthermore, these supposed trips were not fully financed by Bloom. As a former captain I know how much of the financial burden Bloom took care. I also saw how much my teammate and I still had to shell out to be as successful as we had hoped.

Coach Bloom always taught us that what really matters is what you do when none is looking. While no one was looking or paying any mind Coach Bloom bought jerseys for the boys soccer team and cheerleading uniforms for the chearleading team. He graduated EVERY PLAYER (and most attend 4 year universities, either on academic, basketball or football scholarships), that made it through his program. He has provided affordable summer camps and basketball leagues to hundreds of kids and brought in stars such as Chris Carter and Dwight Howard to speak to participants. Coach Bloom involved the business community into the program, exposing players to men and women who could help them succeed and eventually aspire to. Coach Bloom brought enthusiasm and excitement to Boca High that I argue has helped Boca High Students achieve an A school rating for the last 4 years. I could go on and on about how much Bloom has done. As someone stated above, you don’t have profits that large unless your providing a needed and well run commodity.

In addition I praise Dr. Mckee for thinking outside the box and recognizing the true benefit Bloom had at Boca High. If more principles were willing to do whatever it takes for their students to excel and have a good time as McKee has done wherever he has been, our education system would not be in the place it is.

I implore the Post to present their articles in a non bias way and present the real story, not the story that will arouse anger in people who do not know what really went on.

Thank you and Go Cats and Gators!

Put money aside…five Boca High basketball players received full paid scholarships to colleges and universities last year (worth more than 250,000). Numerous kids in the area were hanging out in a high school gym, having fun and taking advice from someone who lives for kids (if you don’t think he does, just meet him and his family) rather than out getting into trouble (as easy as that is in south florida). You can say he pocketed money, but he did the job nobody else would do. He looked out for kids and did everything he could to help them have a better paved road in life, that’s priceless.

The article states he provided his athletes with Nike sneakers, two or three sets of uniforms, occasional dinners out and trips to out-of-state tournaments. He ran his program the way a College or University would. He showed the athletes what life is like at the next level and pushed them to get there. He donated scholarships for poor students to attend basketball camp. And he wrote checks for other teams, including girls soccer, that weren’t as successful raising money. Let’s be serious for a minute, what was he doing with taxpayer money again? He offered to get a business’ “name out in the community” and sold banners for $300 that he hung in the gym as advertising. Anyone who has driven by Boca High or been in it can see the 42 pages of Yellowbook ads all over the school.

Bloom charged his clinics and camps at a reasonable price because he did not have to pay for facilities. When you run a camp or clinic through the city, you have to pay the city because they provide you with space and assume some liability for city parks/recreation. If Bloom did that, he might as well had a travel or club team and held the same policy that the Boynton baseball coach did, no pay no play. Instead, he offered anyone who wanted to come out a fair price if he wasnýt already paying the fee for them. This man is a Saint in my eyes. He worked with students at Boca High as a Physical Education and Special Education teacher during regular school hours and spent his personal time working with kids after. I donýt know about you, but spending money knowing your child is getting the advice and opportunity to do something a parent could not do for them is an investment, just ask his players that signed scholarships..I’m sure they hate him for making money out of it. For the people that think he is wrong, why don’t you go volunteer your time every week like he did and we will see how long you do it for free.

Here’s the entire article since the link would not go through from the www.palmbeachpost.com. I tried to link this about 20 times and it would never go through and we have given the credit to the Palm Beach Post. I received the anon E-mail and after a little research I came across the article yesterday. Complete article posted here:

Former Boca Raton High School basketball coach Manny Bloom was a generous guy. He provided his athletes with Nike sneakers, two or three sets of uniforms, occasional dinners out and trips to out-of-state tournaments.

He donated scholarships for poor students to attend basketball camp. And he wrote checks for other teams, including girls soccer, that weren’t as successful raising money.

Bloom, though, was an excellent fund-raiser. He ran clinics, camps and leagues for kids from pre-kindergarten through high school out of the Boca High gym during school breaks and on evenings and weekends. He charged about $175 a person. He offered to get a business’ “name out in the community” and sold banners for $300 that he hung in the gym as advertising.

All that would have been fine if Bloom had deposited every cent he collected in the school basketball account. Instead, he asked for checks made payable to Manny Bloom Inc., a for-profit company he ran.

School district auditors believe Bloom, who earned less than $45,000 a year as a teacher, including his coaching supplement, deposited more than $250,000 in basketball proceeds into two personal accounts over two years.

Bloom does not dispute he deposited money into his accounts, but he says that it was not all personal income and that some of it was used to pay bills associated with basketball programs.

School board policy dictates that a district employee must either pay to lease school facilities, like any member of the public, or put all of the money a program generates into the school’s internal account.

Bloom, now coaching in North Carolina, did neither, according to a school district audit and investigation. The probe was halted this summer when Bloom resigned as basketball coach.

Yet Bloom’s case has raised questions about whether an employee should be allowed to earn money using school facilities, built with taxpayer money, if students are the better for it.

His programs raised the stature of the school’s basketball team, exposed players to recruiters and helped students earn college scholarships, supporters have said.

“This program benefited the students of the school,” Superintendent Art Johnson said when auditors released their findings at a recent school board meeting. “In years past, nobody would have thought anything about that.”

Profit-making camps and other programs that are managed by coaches but run through non-school accounts are not unusual, said William Massey, Boca High’s athletic director and a former Spanish River High coach. They help coaches pay for uniforms, equipment, game officials and security, none of which is provided by the district.

But now Boca High Principal Geoff McKee, who allowed Bloom to use the school gym without paying to lease it, is being investigated.

In a statement, McKee said he permitted Bloom’s use of the gym “to be classified as a school fund-raiser, thereby waiving the lease fees.”

McKee said he set several conditions: that no staff members who worked the program make more than their hourly teaching rates, that all profits would be spent to benefit Boca High students and that no one else had a claim on the gym.

But district policy does not allow principals to waive fees for a for-profit company such as Bloom’s.

“If you’re tutoring and you’re not charging and your heart’s in the right place for the kids, you are therefore an extension of the school,” said Barry Present, director of real estate services for the school district, explaining why a nonprofit is eligible for a waiver.

“If you’re going to be a business, I don’t know that we need to subsidize and make you more successful,” he said. “If you’re going to use a school facility paid for by taxpayers’ dollars, we’re here to protect taxpayers’ dollars.”

McKee acknowledged to investigators that Bloom might be getting a “personal benefit” but said that “the ones who are benefiting most by Manny Bloom’s involvement in Bobcat Basketball are the students at Boca High and the community of Boca High.”

District auditors estimate that Bloom owed about $100,000 in lease fees that he never paid.

If he wasn’t going to lease the school, he had another option. All the money coming in and out should have run through the school’s internal account, said Cindy Adair, the district’s audit committee chairwoman.

Auditors found records showing Bloom gave less than $20,000 back to the program. Bloom acknowledges keeping poor records but says the amount he donated to the school is at least twice that.

Bloom said he was paid for his time but disputes that he used the camps and other programs he sponsored as a way to pad his own bank account.

“Some of the facts they state are true,” Bloom said of the investigation. “The way they’re trying to spin them is they’re trying to make it look like I walked away with a bundle of money for nothing and Dr. McKee ignored (it) and (none) of those spinoffs is true. I walked away with no money. I got paid to work.”

In North Carolina, he is running many of the same types of programs he held at Boca High, only this time through the school’s booster club. But the investigation has had a chilling effect in Palm Beach County on camps and other fund-raisers run by coaches’ programs, Massey said.

“The net outcome was people just stopped doing it because they don’t want to get themselves in trouble,” Massey said.

Bloom believes he was unfairly targeted.

“There are other people in Palm Beach County that were making as much or more money than me and were giving little or nothing back to their program,” he said. “I to this day believe … we did nothing wrong. There just happened to be a lot of money changing hands. We did things on a big scale.”


  • Stealing is stealing said,

    You take money from a school account and put it in your account it’s stealing. If you take a school account and pay personal bills it’s stealing.

    Hustling..being ambitious etc. does not justify taking stuff .

    You steal you are a thief.

  • Gonetofar said,

    And the reason for this article is???? This happened 100 years ago 1000 miles away. If it has Nothing to do with North Carolina /Guilford County schools there is no reason for it. Very tasteless guys!

  • witch hunt said,

    stealingisatealinggonetofar, the administration has lost their minds… the administration has nothing on Northern, now they are looking for anything…this is an outright witchhunt and it’s wrong ,very wrong to try and destroy a mans reputation for no reason..and for what for being successful?…..what they are doing to Stan is unconsitutional…and it will all come out soon enough…my only opinion

  • Tom said,

    There is no reason to throw Manny under the bus. This is unnecessary and has no apparent benefit. What is the point of this article?

  • a coach K supporter said,

    Anyone who actually knows Stan knows what a great guy he really is. All the “haters” on here and the other sites just love bringing him down because he is successful and really knows what the hell he is doing when it comes to coaching. You will never find a truer friend. If you don’t really know him you should probably keep your negative thoughts to yourself…karma is a bitch!!!

    So, stop judging and accusing, I agree this has been a “witch hunt” and when they couldn’t find anything to nail him with on the recruiting end they went on a personal attack and dug until they found something else…seems they have managed to pull the public into believing all the BS they have set out on their “platter”. It is my greatest hope that his current silence on the matter is due to the fact that his brilliance is getting ready to shine so we all can see the real truth!!

  • Andy said,

    All things considered I thought we showed support to both Manny and Stan in this article and it’s only purpose was to show that what’s happening in Guilford County can happen anywhere.

    When it is all said and done I may be the one up under the bus. Most of you are correct and we probably need to steer clear of this subject matter for a while.

    All of the E-mails that I have been receiving have been in support of Stan and Manny.

  • Holden Caulfield said,

    It may be a bit far to say that Stan is a great guy, but I believe his positives outweigh his negatives. he does care aboutthe players, but don’t be fooled, he cares about himself too ( but don’t we all @ least a little bit?).
    The controversial aspect about the Manny Bloom article to me is that the GCS is saying to all of us in the county that it’s OK to do what Manny did as long as it’s in the past—you just cannot do it here in Guilford county. I imagine that John Hughes and the principal would have rathered this not come out @ least right now.

  • obliged said,

    I do not think it is too far to say Stan is a great guy…he really, really is and there is no doubt he cares about those players as well as many, many other kids he has helped over the years. And of course he cares about himself as well…like you said “don’t we all” and where is the shame in caring about yourself?

    I sincerely think there is so much more to come out and I believe Stan will prove that he has NEVER done anything to dishonor anyone in any way. Unfortunately, there are too many people who literally get off on destroying someone else and watching them fall from grace. I believe Stan’s integrity will continue to stand tall.

    Just a note (disclosure if you will) I have nothing to gain or loss in this fight. I just hate seeing someone like Stan be put through this when it was completely unnecessary and could have been handled with so much more dignity for everyone involved.

  • Big Mac said,

    To All the Coach K Supporters,

    It’s admirable that you support & defend the coach.

    But, that doesn’t change the fact that NG used ineligible players. The requirement to live in the proper school district is black & white. It’s a basic requirement that all must abide by. That’s the issue!

    While the coach may not have been directly at fault, he was a member of the NG “team.” You win as a team, lose as a team, and are accountable for infractions as a team.

    Coach K got off easier than other staff members at NG. He was spared the public humiliation of forced resignation or firing. The school system’s dealing with him was short, sweet, and legally sound. They simply chose to not renew his contract.
    No explanation required & no need to waste taxpayer’s money on more investigation.

    Integrity is accepting the truth & moving on!

  • jerry said,

    whos next i graduaed from high school almost 50 years ago and know none of these coaches just wondering are there any that obey the rules

  • notafan said,

    First of all the big difference is that Manny put his money in a for profit account. The principal allowed him to use the facilities with full knowledge of his goals and he used his funds to help multiple sports. I also don’t think he was writing questionable personal checks out of the account but if Manny was — so what because it wasn’t a non – profit account. Stan is financial specialist supposedly — he knew he was breaking the law. Manny didn’t go outside his county and recruit players from all over North Carolina while heading up an AAU organization knowing full well he was in violation of the GCS rules. I have no problem with a coach trying to take his team to the next
    level but please do not hold Stan up to be a SAINT. If he had not been so arrogant underhanded and self centered he would have walked away from the situation in the beginning. If I remember correctly Stan was the first to sling mud by insulting Jill Wilson calling her amateur and all those news appearance trying to get the parents/community to sue GCS. The fact hat he sued the athletic director at Northwest was unbelievable because if you are innocent who cares what he says. He acted like a bully throwing around his money — obviously the AD was corect in what he said because look at what has happened. The nerve of him to holler victim when he has no integrity and is as guilty as guilty can be. That information about the 501 would have never been released if he would have just gone away and been quiet like YEager and Force. There is a reason that Force and Yeager have no comment — Yeager walked away from a $132 K a year job and has not said a word — come on people be real. His out and out defiance by throwing that banquet , having the media there and giving state championship rings and shirts to the players, principal janitor and AD was so in your face GCS. That should HAVE BEEN DONE MORE DISCREETLY BECAUE HE REALLY DID HAVE AN EXCELLENT TEAM AND THEY DESERVED SOMETHING SPECIAL.
    There is more than we will ever know unless Stan keeps talking at which time more and more information will be released and possibly charges filed against him.. They are only releasing a partial amount of info to show justification for their actions. If he keeps talking he leaves them with no other choice because I really don’t think they are being unfair to anyone at NG.

  • Eddie Willis said,

    To: notafan

    You make some very good points, but I am not sure how relevant the references to Yeager and Force’s silence is—my guess is that they had settlements upon their departure that prevented them from discussing the NG situation with the media or anyone else. I have no facts to back this up, however.
    I will also be willing to bet that the school system would have rathered the information about Bloom had not come out either. That’s not to say that it was anything but on “the up and up”. The fact that there were questions about these practices does appear a little bit hypocritical at least on the part of the NWG AD. I wonder if he did a google search or anything like that during the hiring process on any of the candidates. I would guess not, since the whole crux of the long-running issues he and Kovalwski have are a result of “internet ignorance” as Joe Biden called it previously.
    This will all work itself out, but it will never happen until all these people with huge egos start putting education above themselves ( not just Wilson, K, etc.).
    EW
    PS. The new proposal for transfers is exactly what you could expect from the clods on the BOE ( Mr. Hebert (sic!) excluded). They best point of all was for us to just enforce the rules that are already in place—-I noticed in the N&R that there was going to be a 2.0 GPA requirement for athletes but no stipulation as to whether or not this was just while participating and in season—what about other non-athletic extra curricular activities? No requirements?

  • Gonetoofar said,

    Eddie, did you not read the article in todays NR.

    Bloom informed Northwest Guilford officials of the Florida investigation last summer DURING his interview, said Northwest Guilford athletics director John Hughes.

    “He was completely upfront about it, and we checked it out thoroughly,” Hughes said. “I support Manny 100 percent.”

  • notafan said,

    To: Eddie Willis
    Very valid points and I agree the AD at NWG does somehow seem a bit hypocritical. But as long as he enforce the rules of GCS and runs the program correctly it takes away the power of Bloom to duplicate his Florida schemes.
    I also like your point about the current rules that are being put in place for GCS. If they enforce the rules in place for everyone there would be no need to be so stringent on players. I also agree that all xtra curricular school activities
    (sports/clubs/choir/band) require a 2.0 all year. This is a result of all the NG mess because the school board does not want to seem as if they are picking on just NG. This is to get at the Dudley’s, Grimsley’s , Pages and all the schools with any magnet programto satisfy the screaming parents and coaches at NG that say the other schools have a unfair advantage.. But if you honestly look at most of the Prep programs of GCS there are very few superstar atheltes using academic programs to transfer. Unfortunately most use bogus addresses as a means to transfer and you cannot penalize a child for moving and is GCS going to really check the validity of every address change. Everyone is always protesting about the IB, Academy and magnet programs in GCS but how many starter athletes really come out of these programs — I’m sure if you check it would be a really small percentage — like I said they are just making a way for the unethical to get even worse at beating the system. It is really horrible how the good always suffer with the bad. Even at NG their are really some great families in the program but because the leadership and a few parents were off base the entire school has to suffer.

  • Eddie Willis said,

    Yes, I did. And that is one of the reasons I feel the hire was somewhat hypocritical. How can we not think that
    the hire was anything more than a way to hire someone who could and would be a bit raising funds to support a
    beleaguered athletic budget and generate enthusiasm for basketball and NWG athletics generally. As long as the schools follow the rules, I dont care whether it’s donations or an individual who keeps athletics going.
    I do not support cheating nor do I think witch hunts are fair and proper.

  • nwbballinsider said,

    One major difference between the two situations is: “Coaches at Northwest do not control the bank accounts.” As stated by John Hughes in the article and no one has mentioned. (The Northwest Guilford Basketball booster club and its officers do)
    .
    Florida high school athletics ( and there administrators) have numerous different rules and regulations regarding facility usage. To judge a situation there by GCS rules is at best ingenious!!

    Coach Bloom just happened to be the latest target to defer attention away from the real issues. Manny has done a fabulous job at Northwest and should be applauded not dragged in the mess created by others.

  • Eddie Willis said,

    If I am not mistaken, Manny/NWG were fined for violating the NCHSAA rules last summer just after
    he was hired. Not exactly a stellar beginning no matter how John paints the picture. Now, John may have still thought he was in the running for the Weddington AD job at the time, so he may have just let it go. If I am mistaken, please let me know.
    Eddie
    PS. I still say that he deserves a 2nd chance, but it’s hard to believe that with all the job cuts, we preserve an
    ISS position!

  • Laughable said,

    Eddie,

    If I am not mistaken, Manny/NWG were fined for violating the NCHSAA rules last summer just after he was hired.

    Yeah, MAJOR violation. Interacted with some players during an open gym during dead period, wow that is means for dismissal.

  • nwbballinsider said,

    Northwest was fined for running open gyms in the spring semester after basketball season ended and including middle school players that were moving up to the high school the following year. This was a done for many years in advance of Manny arriving at Northwest. He just happened to be the coach at the time it was determined to be against GCS policy. He was just following schedules set forth before he was hired.
    The only infraction was including the 8th graders, not holding illegal practices. PLEASE GET YOUR FACTS before making accusations.

  • Jack I. said,

    T0: nwbballinsider

    That last comment only tells me and everyone that ou have been breaking the rules for years—–including when y
    your former men’s bball coach was AD (assuming you re telling the truth). That rule is an NCHSAA rule, and it is an illegal practice if you have illegal players attending. If they are ineligible to attend, then they are illegal!
    I hope my facts are correct—the interpretation is if your information you shared is correct.
    Thank you.
    Jack I.

  • local coach said,

    I coach at a GCS school. It is not NG or NW. I was attending a rules clinic in early 2008 when Que Tucker informed us that NCHSAA added the rule about 8th graders not being allowed to practice with high school athletes. This is a fairly new rule. The NW basketball coach should have been told about it before he had the open gyms. He probably did not know about it. Also from what I have heard about the NW administration , the AD is a pretty good guy but the principal is a real bozo.